Okay, so this isn’t really about mental illness, but it’s about me and my mind and thinking and general stuff so I can kind of get away with it. (Bottom line: it’s my blog. I can do what I like.)
I’ve just finished a production that I was working on for two months, it was absolutely fantastic and we had wonderful reviews and brilliant audiences. Right now I’m going through the usual post-show blues, I feel a little bit down and lonely right now. It’s not the nicest of feelings but I know that after a while everything will be back to normal for me, mentally.
Whilst I love the high that comes with a show (who doesn’t?) I hate the crash that follows it. It’s not pleasant, and I think that for someone who has had years of depression it’s especially hard. I get scared when I wake up in the morning and I feel like that. Depression rearranges the way that you think about the world, it shows you another dimension and when you’ve seen that other dimension, you can’t stop seeing it.
The show that I was doing was with an amateur company and the rest of the cast were all 40+, when we finished several of them came up to me and told me that I should keep acting and follow it all the way. They told me to take a leap of faith, go to London and keep pursuing the ideal of being a professional actor. They told me that they wished that they’d done that, and that they didn’t want me to make the same mistakes that they had.
I don’t want to be a professional actor.
It seems very strange that people can’t understand that; a little while ago I did, but I’ve come to the realisation that I can’t and don’t want to do it. I want to wake up in the morning and go and do a job that makes me feel fulfilled. Acting won’t. As an actor I’ll spend 80% of my time working dead-end jobs on minimum wage. I want to act, of course I do- the cruel and hard fact is that in order to do so professionally I’ll have to spend most of my time doing things that I hate.
And it doesn’t get any better, the older an actor gets the harder things become. Yes, they may get a little more work but generally not enough to make a living from- there certainly won’t be enough money to support a family, own property or have a pension.
I know what I’m like; living that kind of life will make me depressed, and I can’t face depression again.
To add to that; I actually don’t want to spend my career being an actor- the reason? I hate being told what to do. All you do as an actor is get told what to do, how to do it and when to do it. You’re at the bottom of the creative heap, a pawn in someone else’s vision.
So no, I’ve had a taste of this life and I don’t want it.
Maybe if you had you wouldn’t either.
I have ideas of what I do want… but that’s another post…
’til next time,